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Pulp Adventures #39

Pulp Adventures

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Audrey Parente
130 pages
7 x 10 trade paperback
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This issue focuses on Doc Savage, with special emphasis on Steve Holland, the great artist model who portrayed Doc on paperback covers for three decades.

  • First, Will Murray traces The Batman's origins, demonstrating how the character was influenced by both The Shadow and Zorro. Of particular focus is the crossover stories DC Comics published in the 1970s, wherein Manhattan's Man of Mystery and The Dark Knight actually cross paths, in two different issues of Batman.
  • Next, Laurie Powers (author of Daisy Bacon: Queen of the Pulps) interviews Will Murray regarding his journey from being a Doc Savage fan to becoming the author. Will describes his early involvement with the Doc Savage series, and the arc of the Wild Adventures series.
  • Steve Holland: The World's Greatest Illustration Art Model documents the career of the man who posed as Doc Savage for illustrator James Bama, Bob Larkin, and Joe DeVito. But Holland wasn't just the Man of Bronze — he posed for numerous important illustrators as The Avenger, The Spider, Flash Gordon, The Phantom, and as various soldiers, cops and criminals for thousands of mens adventure magazines. Michael Stradford, author of the new book, discusses the actor-turned-model, his life and career, and the importance of Holland's lasting influence on commercial art.

Also in this issue:

  • David Goudsward discusses the background of Henry S. Whitehead's story "The Love Philtre" (written as Casimir Dren), accompanying a reprint of the story.
  • O. Henry's stories became the gold standard for short story authors in America, and around the world. This issue features his pulp tales "Witch's Loaves" (from The Argosy, March 1904) and "The Venturers" (originally published in Everybody’s Magazine, October 1909). William Nadel, editor of Thirty by O. Henry, provides notes on O. Henry and the stories.

Classic pulp fiction:

  • Door of Doom by Charles Boeckman

  • Calculated Nightmare by John Burke

  • Witches’ Loaves by O. Henry

  • The Venturers by O. Henry

  • The Love Philtre by Henry S. Whitehead

New pulp fiction:

  • Jake’s Close Shave by Brian Beatty

  • Djinn and Tonic by Teel James Glenn

  • Evil Forces by Gary Lovisi

  • Red’s Chapel by Charles Burgess

  • The Making of a Pirate by Adam McFarlane

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  • 5
    Another great issue of new and classic pulp fiction

    Posted by Michael Brown on Nov 10th 2021

    Here we have Pulp Adventures: #39 from Bold Venture Press, dated Fall 2021. As always, we get a selection of new and classic pulp stories; however the focus this time is on Will Murray, pulp researcher and author, with some non-fiction pieces. Instead of artwork for the cover, we get a colorized photo of Steve Holland from one of his Doc Savage cover photo sessions. So first up, the non-fiction pieces. For some time in The Shadow pulp reprints from Sanctum Books, Will Murray has been detailing the pulp roots of Batman‘s origins, with his ties to The Shadow but also Zorro. So this piece brings a lot of that together. In particular, he looks at the two Batman issues that have the Shadow appear that I have reviewed. Then, Laurie Powers (author of Queen of the Pulps: The Reign of Daisy Bacon and “Love Story Magazine”) provides an interview with Will Murray about his journey from Doc Savage fan to Doc author and author of other characters. I especially look forward to the upcoming books from him that are mentioned here. Michael Stradford discusses his upcoming book Steve Holland: The World’s Greatest Illustration Art Model in an interview with publisher Rick Harvey. I’ve reviewed his recent book that focuses just on Holland’s work for the Doc Savage covers. This work will document his whole career, as not just posing for James Bama, Bob Larkin, and Joe DeVito for their Doc covers, but his work for many other illustrators who did the The Avenger, The Spider, Flash Gordon, and The Phantom covers, and various characters on men’s adventure magazine covers. For classic pulp fiction, along with some additional non-fiction work: From jazz musician and author Charles Boeckman, we get another crime piece: “Door of Doom” from Homicide Detective Stories in 1956. This one has a strange love triangle that doesn’t quite work out. A more modern pulp story is “Calculated Nightmare” by John Burke from Edgar Wallace Mystery Magazine in 1966 from the U.K. I was surprised at the use of computers in this unusual tale. With Bold Venture recently putting out a collection of O. Henry stories edited by William Nadel, a descendant, we get two pieces by him that appeared in pulp magazines. “Witches’ Loaves” (Argosy, 1904) is a little story about a lady who runs a bakery, a customer who comes in only to buy stale bread and what came of it all. “The Venturers” (Everbody’s Magazine, 1909) is a longer story about fortune, chance, and adventure, and two men. Further Nadel provides notes on O. Henry (really William Sydney Porter, 1862-1910). If you’re like me, you’ve heard of O. Henry, probably read two or three of his short stories in English class, and that’s about it. So it’s interesting to read some of his other works. So do check out Bold Venture’s new collection. We get another piece from Henry S. Whitehead (1882-1932), an early member of the “Lovecraft Circle,” who was a minister living in Florida. “The Love Philtre” (written as Casimir Dren in Beau: The Men’s Magazine, 1927), is a story that clearly has influences from Whitehead’s time in the West Indies. And we again have David Goudsward noting the background of the work and the magazine in appeared in. For New Pulp fiction, we get the following… We get a short-short story, “Jake’s Close Shave” from Brian Beatty, set in a barbershop. In “Djinn and Tonic” from Teel James Glenn, we get a weird adventure set in British Palestine after WWII. A major is after a local terrorist, and gets a little help from a djinn. I was bothered by naming the terrorist El Borak, as this is the name of a Robert E. Howard character. Gary Lovisi gives us a longish tale of two 1960s detectives in a corrupt town looking for a werewolf, in “Evil Forces.” A young lady is visiting her uncle and goes for a ride in the nearby wood. There she unfortunately finds “Red’s Chapel,” as you’ll see in this tale by Charles Burgess. Adam McFarlane tells of what leads a young man to become a pirate in “The Making of a Pirate.” It’s another great issue, and I look forward to the next one, which will issue #40! There should be another piece by Boeckman. Others included will be John Burke, Dudley Ernest, Norman Firth, and more.